“IT DEPENDS ON LOVE.” In this old Aramaic phrase, “it” refers to shadow. This phrase will guide you on the path of shadow integration that the old Unique Self masters called the “left-handed emanation” or the “way of the dragon. ” The left hand implies the power of transmutation, while the right hand symbolizes the power of force. The left-handed path is referred to by the Tantric Kabbalists as Derek Hataninim, which I have often translated as “the way of the dragon ”. The way of the dragon invites not the slaying of the dragon, but rather its befriending and healing.
To follow this way is to serve and to grow through the light and energy that emanates from the darkness itself.
With the understanding of the New Enlightenment, the energy that emanates from the darkness is not foreign to us. It is none other than the displaced fullness of your Unique Self and the dis-owned freedom of your True Self. It is the energy of the radical breaking of all boundaries. You have shattered the limits of your skin-encapsulated ego, and stepped into the fullness of your distinct expression of all that is. You have realized your full identity with the divine, and all false boundaries crumble before the audacious power of your penetrating love. This is the ultimate expression of Eros.
The energy of darkness is but the pseudo-Eros of breaking boundaries in the world of illusion. When you follow the attraction to the boundary-breaking pseudo-Eros to its root, it is revealed to be the yearning for the full enlightenment of Unique Self manifestation. The coiled boundaries of separate self melt before the radiance of Unique Self.
This is the hidden intention of the old Kabbalistic koan, “The contraction of darkness is only sweetened in its root.” The word for contraction, din, refers to your shadow. The word “sweetness” refers to the tantric level of consciousness in Kabbalah, where light that comes from the darkness is of a higher quality than light that bypasses the darkness.
In the way of the dragon, the energy of shadow is transmuted through love.
One of the people who intuited this truth of shadow energy, even though he did not have a larger Unique Self context within which to integrate his understanding, was the philosopher Nietzsche. He writes in his maddening and wonderful work,Thus Spake Zarathustra:
Of all the evil I deem you capable
Therefore I want the good from you
Verily I have often laughed at weaklings
Who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
Nietzsche believed that the good could never gain the upper hand unless it is infused with “the energy generated by murder.”
The poet Rilke captured the Kabbalistic consciousness of the way of the dragon in a few short lines:
Perhaps all the Dragons of our lives
Are princesses who are only waiting to
See us once, beautiful and brave.
Perhaps everything terrible is in
Its deepest being something
That needs our love.
Your Unique Self
Pages 271, 272
Dr. Marc Gafni
Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney